Following on from a previous post, I wonder how much industry or revenue generating business is needed to be a viable independent country? How much investment from outside or how much borrowing? We will get onto this later and in other notes. But reading the information published by Yes Cymru and Plaid Cymru it seems there are of course a variety of versions of independence. Labour, the socialist or left wing party have ruled Wales for 20 years and have a distinct view of “home rule” and use this term vice independence, very wisely or I think Labour would lose voters and after having lost a large number of seats to the conservatives the right wingers at the last election, there is a risk that by being too pro independence they could alienate even more voters who only see negatives from absolute culturally or emotionally driven independence. Mr Drakeford said, “We need a more powerful devolution settlement, one in which we secure home rule for Wales in a successful United Kingdom – internationalist, not nationalist; outward facing, not inward looking.” So clearly the Drakeford-Labour view is of a Wales within the United kingdom not without it as perhaps espoused by YesCyrmu. This Drakeford view is aiming for votes from a wider base than just the nationalists who see absolute independence and a return to a completely self governed Wales that has a seat at the UN, membership of the European Union and so a separate country away from the shackles of Great Britain, maybe a socialist republic or possibly a Welsh monarchy again as their aim. Their published manifesto and point papers are not completely clear on the details of what this actually would look like or how to achieve this and their share of votes is VERY small so maybe nothing for the bigger more internationalist parties to concern themselves with after all.
“Yes for Wales, of course – that’s what I have been throughout my whole life – but yes to a Wales that takes ownership of its own destiny alongside working people in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland who share our progressive values”. Mark Drakeford
“We are so lucky, in our country, to have all the natural resources we need to put Wales at the forefront of the global energy revolution which the world will need,” Mr Drakeford said.
“Wind, water and wave – the next Welsh Labour Government will make those assets work to create the jobs of the future and, in doing so, make our contribution to securing the future of our beautiful but fragile planet.” Mr Drakeford said
“Yes to a Wales which has the confidence of knowing that we are at our best when we break down barriers, not build them up, where we create our future alongside others, not despite or against them.” “Yes for Wales” to tell left-wing voters thinking of turning to Plaid or the Greens that he wants to get more powers for Welsh home rule but he balances that by referencing traditional socialist concerns about working class solidarity across the UK.
And finally, Drakeford turns his fire power on the Conservative government in Westminster, presenting Welsh Labour as a bulwark against “inequality and austerity”.
But we come back to the question of is Welsh independence of the model sought by YesCymru and Plaid Cymru a realistic option without funding from effectively English tax revenues after all Wales has 3 million souls and England 45 million. How much tax revenue can be squeezed out of a mostly rural nation to pay the collective costs of nationhood? What does it cost to run a country, there’s defence, policing, health, social welfare, care, local communities and their councils and probably a myriad of other costs. On the surface independence sounds great but absolute nationhood is not cheap. So is a federation better, maybe, but why would the residents of England want to pay for a renegade state with low incomes and little hope of surviving as an independent country. There are few truly functional states of 3 million population, maybe Lithuania is an example? But the first minister suggests a “voluntary association of four nations” but again why would England want to be paying the bills for Wales?
Plaid Cymru wants to hold a referendum on independence if it wins May’s Senedd election. Also speaking on Politics Wales, Plaid leader Adam Price said: “We sincerely believe that independence is ultimately the only sustainable way whereby Wales can achieve its incredible potential as a nation that isn’t being delivered at the moment and whereby we can achieve social and economic justice for everyone that lives in Wales.” Ok boys lets see some clear criteria and specifics on finances for a “new Wales”, a Wales independent and free from the shackles of English rule from Westminster and then maybe people will know what they are voting for, a bit like the lies and obfuscation for the BREXIT vote by Farrage and co that destroyed our integration and union with the EU. On the other hand a federation of independent states each a member of any groups or bodies they see fit to join, that are self financing, self policing, self healing without border controls and with successful independent economies joined only for mutual self defence, might be more appealing but where is the money coming from for the smaller nations?
Lots more to follow as the elections approach and maybe some actual policies emerge.